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Old 07-26-2011, 09:49 PM   #21
Focus Enthusiast
Join Date: Jun 2011
Fan#: 87186
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
What I Drive: 1985 Moto Guzzi T5 850 NT

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If I am the only driver of the car, I would choose the manual, and I would almost for sure be able to get 150,000 miles out of it. I am very easy on the clutch, and I do not make the synchro's work hard. Most significantly, when the transaxle has not come up to operating temp (and particularly so, with cool / cold ambient temps) I make my first few shifts of the day, from 1st to 2nd, at pretty near a walking pace. It never feels "notchy" to me, because the road-speeds I shift at (contingent on the temp of the lubricant) never are high enough for the "notch" to occur! I nurse it to operating temp.

So, I vote for the manual.

However, the other side of the coin is --what if you must have an automatic, 'cause your spouse / significant other cannot or will not drive a standard? Or what if you must tow a trailer (and incidentally, automatics are definitely superior for a trailer)?

Well, then my answer is: i) I want a fully conventional automatic; ii) I want a Toyota (there is simply NOT another vehicle mfr out there, that makes a more durable automatic than in a Toyota.... and particularly so for an '08 or older Corolla.

Also - iii) I have a microfilter (by NTZ) that is plumbed from the line out to the cooler, to the line back from the cooler. It acts as a bypass filter, and it drops the mean particle size for the so-called "swarf" down to 2 or 3 microns (this protects the valve bodies from scoring, with them most often being aluminum). And finally, I really believe in cooling an automatic. Heat, in idling, or heat, bucking a hill (particularly in high ambient temp conditions) does them in. Auxiliary coolers, in my mind, have merit.

Incidentally, I got a ride home from the airport, the other day, in a Taxi -- and I often ask the Taxi operators how they are doing with their cars. Taxi operators definitely select the least operating cost cars, to the extent that the Taxi commission rules allow them to. Prior to most taxis, in vancouver, being Prius's -- they were Corolla's. The taxi fellow told me that they drop the ATF in their Corolla's at about 18,000 or 20,000 miles, they never fit an auxiliary cooler -- and now, hear this: they routinely get about 350,000 miles out of Corolla transmissions!!! That's the proof in the pudding.
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